problem is that I have a big head not just that its shaped
funny as well. This poses a problem when buying headgear, crap
hat, caps and boonie hats all look pretty stupid on me. When
I go skirmishing the problems worst, because I have to wear
goggles with them. I had owned a pair of JT Spectras but found
the far to bulky to use with any headgear except when I would
wear a crap hat gangsta stylee. Considering eye protection is
the most important piece of kit every airsofter owns I thought
it important to try to find the ideal set of goggles for me.
trying just several types of airsoft and paintball protective
eyewear I was left unimpressed with most of them them. Mesh
masks are useless at low light with details and movement being
hard to pick out. Something I suspect to do with the light refraction
around the wires or the close focal length to the mesh either
way I study rocks not physics or optometry so both are purely
conjectures on my part. Shooting glasses are not the best option
safety wise since most offerings dont totally enclose the eyes,
leaving them open to possible damage from BBs. There is also
the problem of non-replaceable lenses. Paintball masks are on
the whole ugly and too cumbersome. I owned a JT Spectra mask
and goggle set, I never used the mask (teeth can be replaced
eyes cant) and found the goggles too big to use with ‘crap
what next? Well the USMC catalogue advertises Bolle Tactical
eyewear, 3 types: the T-500s, Commandos and the T-800s. All
are tactically certified (up to necessary safety regulations
for projectile impact on the lens), and designed not to fog
up. Bolle are renown for their eyewear, their more common civilian
product lines include ski goggles and sunglasses. With this
assurance of quality, albeit it French, and a leap of faith
I purchased a set of T-800s while I was on a trip to Hong Kong
for HK$ 380.
Overview The goggles came in a very plain white cardboard box, and
were wrapped in a black cloth sack, which also doubles as the
cleaning cloth. The goggles themselves have a black frame, and
the only eluding to their maker is the Bolle T800 lettering
on the top left edge of the lens.
goggles themselves measure about 7cm high (maximum) and 22cm
wide with a depth of 1.5 cm, the goggles have a very low profile.
They cover only your eves and the skin immediately around them.
The lenses are made from lexan (polycarbonate) whilst the frame
appears to be ABS with a silicon or rubber lining to keep the
goggles firmly in place. There is a 1 thick elastic headband
to keep the goggles on. Judging by the length of it these goggles
are designed to be worn OVER a helmet, but the still fit comfortably
and tightly without one.
goggles really have a low profile on a par with some shooting
goggles, this in theory makes them compatible with all sort
of head wear.
Features Like most other tactical goggles the T-800s are advertised
having anti-fog qualities, meaning they should not fog up during
use. For those not in the know if they were not treated to resist
fogging the temperature difference between the environment inside
the goggles and that outside will cause water vapour to condense
on the inside of the goggles lenses. Fogged up lenses is the
last thing you need in the middle of a firefight or creeping
of the design features that help counter fogging of the lenses
is the lens mountings themselves. The lens is held in place
at 4 contact points; at the very left, right edges and across
the bridge of the nose. Everywhere else the lenses are approximately
3mm away from the frame allowing for unobstructed air circulation,
which keeps the thermal difference to a minimum.
Testing I took the Bolles to Combat South on an average winters
day low temperature and low humidity. Everything went smoothly,
no fogging and no immediate comfort issues. Towards the end
of the day though the skin under the frames began to get a bit
uncomfortable, and when I got home I noticed I had a clear imprint
of the frame on my face. The neoprene or silicone covering the
face side of the frames does not do a good a job at padding
the frame as the JTs foam does. On further days out at Combat
South I have experienced a dull headache across the bridge of
my nose after wearing the Bolles for a whole day, again probably
due to the insufficient padding.
for fogging, the Bolles remained, on the whole fog free. The
design of the goggles appears to work very efficiently at containing
the fog problem. On the days when fog has been a problem, the
weather has been the main contributing factor wet and humid.
On days like that I switch to the JTs, simply because they
are better at handing these conditions most likely due to
the increase distance between my hot face and the lenses.
low profile design of the goggles is not such a bonus as I thought.
I can wear the Bolles in conjunction with a PASGT helmet, unlike
the JT Spectras, but If I use them with a crap hat worn properly
or a boonie hat the goggles soon fog up. This is probably because
the hat cuts off the air circulation, allowing the thermal difference
between the inside of the goggles and the air outside build
Durability After having these goggles for 2 years now I have yet to
change the lenses, simply because I have not needed to yet.
The lenses on my pair have become fairly scratched, but despite
multiple BB impacts the lenses have remained very much intact.
I have seen 2 other sets of goggles that have had their lenses
cracked by high energy rounds usually fired from sniper rifles.
In both occasions the cause was associated more with the velocity
of the rounds coming out of the rifles (over 550fps and hence
illegal) than a defect with the lenses.
have been looking out for replacement lenses for my set of Bolles
because parts made from polycarbonate (especially impact resistant
polycarbonate) deteriorate through exposure to natural sunlight.
JT advise changing lenses every 12 months so its a logical
step to assume Bolle would encourage the same.
Conclusion The Bolles are comparably priced to the JT Spectra range
of goggles, except that with the Bolles you dont get a facemask.
The Bolles have performed beyond my expectations; and judging
by the number of people who have bought them since I first showed
them at Combat South a lot of people agree. . The lenses are
modular and can be replaced, something I am looking to do at
the moment. Considering I have been using the T800 for 2 years
they are in remarkable good shape. An intelligent and safe investment
for the most important piece of kit you will wear at a skirmish.